18 years old Flori’s migratory experience is all embedded in the document issued by the Norway authorities at the time of his asylum application back in 2015. His request was later rejected and Flori decided to accept IOM’s assisted voluntary return programme. He was subsequently returned home, which is in the outskirts of Fier, a town located in the south of Albania. He was tired and disappointed for not having managed to stay in Norway, a country he thought would offer him job security compared to the scarce opportunities available in his birthplace.
Flori’s story is similar to that of many young Albanians who irregularly leave to the EU countries in search of opportunities. As in Floris’ case, most of these attempts are made in order to provide also support to the families in sending remittances. "I migrated mainly because I wanted to help my family, I'm old enough to help my parents to contribute to the family income. The return to Albania was not easy, but the help of IOM was significant", he said. Flori’s parents run a small grocery store on the only paved road in the neighbourhood. His younger sister, Blerta, attends school with diligence and Flori’s grandmother lives with them, confined to the bed by sickness.
When confronted with the possibility to receive assistance from IOM, Flori chose to help the family business rather than asking for a personal support. His family received, as part of the reintegration support grant, a stock of products for the grocery store. This allowed them to offer a broader rage of products, increase the number of customers and consequentially extend the store’s premises to set up a mini fast food. Everyday Flori goes to school in the mornings while in the afternoons he helps his parents in the shop. The reinvigorated family business requires Flori’s engagement and finally allows him to contribute to his household as he intended to when he left the country.
“I have really appreciated what IOM has done to help Flori and my family. We improved a lot our family business, which means that we can afford the expenses to cure my mother and maybe we could eventually sustain Blerta in continuing her studies even after high school. IOM’s help allowed Flori to feel useful to the family, and be responsible to improve our living condition” Flori’s mother added.